Have you ever seen a child that is afraid of their parent (s?) They cower down in fear. There is an enormous difference between a child being respectful and minding their mom or dad and the child that minds out of fear.
This mainly happens when the parent is not consistent in their mood and often gets angry very quickly. Children (thank goodness) have a built-in coping ability that adults don’t have. The greatest gift a parent can ever give a child is the knowing that they are safe and loved unconditionally. Read that last sentence again please.
When I was moved to Georgia to live with my father and stepmother, I was 15 years old. Try as hard as I might, I could never please my stepmother. She would send me to do a job like sweeping the driveway and it didn’t matter how long I worked at, she never one time told me I did a good job or thank you. She always pointed out some area I missed.
The problem with this type of parenting is it stays with the child for the rest of their life. Perfect example – I am 63 years old and was doing something around the house the other day and when I finished, I had a flash back to my stepmother and what she would say. This is not healthy for a child and many parents have or are currently making these mistakes. A child needs acceptance. That’s right, a child or teenager needs acceptance even though they may act like they don’t care. Deep down inside they really do. Basically never (regardless of what they do) withhold your acceptance and love from them.
Here is another example of the right way. My stepfather always told me he loved me. Like every kid, I did things that got me in trouble. I remember vividly one time I messed up and my stepfather had to whip me. You know what he did right after he whipped me? He took me in his arms and told me he loved me. That type of love is what I am talking here. Children, preteens and teenagers are very vulnerable and need all the love you can give them but most importantly, tell them and ** show them that they are accepted, loved and they are safe.
Those are the greatest gifts you can give your children. If you don’t believe it, just look at your parents and ask yourself, was I really loved, safe and accepted growing up? That’s all the proof you need. KT